Montclair Momentum

Councilman: Can Montclair Find ‘Common Ground’ On Rent Control?

MONTCLAIR, NJ — “Being neighbors is more important than getting everything we want.”

That’s the underlying mindset that needs to prevail if Montclair is ever going to find a common pathway forward when it comes to rent control, a councilman says. Recently, Montclair Councilman Peter Yacobellis wrote a blog about the town’s rent control law, which was passed in April 2020, but has been entangled in a bitter legal battle. The local ordinance would limit annual rent increases in the township to 2.5 percent for seniors and 4.25 percent for other tenants, with some exceptions. A court injunction has kept the ordinance from going into effect, and it will likely be up to Montclair voters to decide its fate. Read More: Montclair Rent Control Law Likely Headed To Voters In 2022 Here’s what Yacobellis had to say in his Dec. 16 blog post: “Lately I’m sure you’ve read about lawsuits and court battles regarding the Rent Control Ordinance that the previous Council passed in spring of 2020. We’ve had our fair share of debates as a community lately and I’m hoping we can avoid another one by finding common ground with all interested parties on how we might stabilize rent in Montclair to protect affordability and by extension the diversity that we cherish. I’ve never been happy with the rent control law passed by the last Council because it did not cover most rental units in Montclair, had a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy and has since resulted in expensive and divisive fights where I think compromise was always possible.